Get to know the 2020 presidential nominees


Presidential Nominees – Graphic by Andrea Kremer and Hunter Huffman

Bg News Staff and Bg News Staff

Donald Trump - Republican presidential nominee

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Incumbent President Trump is running on the slogan, “Keep America Great” for his 2020 campaign. Along with incumbent vice president Mike Pence, Trump is aiming to continue his presidency into 2024.


The Trump Administration’s public health officials urged Americans to social distance and wear masks to slow the spread of the virus, but the president was hesitant to wear a mask publicly. Trump said he did not believe mask mandates were necessary, however, he stated in July that he “thinks masks are good” in an interview with Fox Business. He also said testing “is a double-edged sword,” because doing more tests means having more cases, so he wants to slow testing down.

Police reform

Trump has criticized the efforts to defund police departments, and has stated police are owed respect for their work. He signed an executive order in June to “enact modest reforms in a move to confront the outcry over police brutality, including a tracking program that will encourage localities to submit information on officers who have been fired or found in court to have used excessive force,” according to CNN.

Climate crisis

Trump has expressed climate change is not a top priority for his administration. Under the Trump Administration, notable actions taken were: the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced it wouldn’t require oil and gas companies to install methane detection monitors to detect leaks, the US withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 and two national parks in Utah were downsized.


President Trump vowed to fix student loan debt during his 2016 campaign. The administration has pushed for a school choice tax credit known as “Education Freedom Scholarships,” which students could use to attend public or private schools, including charters, outside of their districts. Trump is also advocating for what he calls “patriotic education” in schools. His campaign described this concept as teaching “American exceptionalism.”


Trump has repeatedly expressed opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and has said he plans to repeal it. But other details on Trump’s healthcare plan have been vague. He attempted to pass the American Health Care Act, otherwise known as “Trumpcare,” as a partial repealment of “Obamacare.” It was passed by the House of Representatives in 2017, but not by the Senate.

For more information about Donald Trump, visit

Mike Pence – Republican vice president nominee

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Pence is the current vice president of the United States of America. Pence earned a bachelor’s degree from Hanover University in 1981, and also earned a law degree in 1986 from Indiana University. In 2000, Pence was elected to the Sixth Congressional District as a congressman for Indiana. He served for 12 years before being elected governor of Indiana in 2012. In 2016, Pence ended his presidential campaign to accept the position of vice president with Donald Trump as commander in chief. 


Pence took the position of the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, working alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci among others to handle COVID-19. Pence feels that people can be trusted “to make choices in the best interest of their health,” so there is no mask mandate necessary.

Police reform

Pence believes that police should wear body cameras, but does not believe that police are a force for racism and division. Pence believes that implicit bias demeans police officers, and that inner-city families should want a stop-and-frisk system.

Climate change

Pence believes that we have the cleanest air in our country’s history. The Trump-Pence ticket has drawn out of the Paris Climate Accord, and believes that climate change is not an immediate emergency.


Pence feels that Medicaid is broken, and that the Affordable Care Act is “a government takeover” of healthcare in the U.S.


Mike Pence is pro-voucher because he believes parents should get to choose how they want their kids to be educated. Pence also believes that standardized testing needs to be reformed, and wants to replace the Common Core with a state standards version.

For more information about Mike Pence, visit

Joe Biden - Democratic presidential nominee

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Biden is the Democratic nominee heading into the 2020 Election. Biden graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in political science and history, and received a Juris Doctor from the Syracuse University College of Law. Elected as the senator of Delaware in 1973, Biden ran two unsuccessful campaigns in both 1988 and 2008 before being selected as former President Barack Obama’s running mate. After eight years in office from 2008 to 2016, Biden is now running for President with Kamala Harris as his running mate.


Biden wants to listen to science. According to his website, the Biden-Harris ticket will implement a seven-point plan to help with COVID-19, including fixing the test and trace process, fixing PPE issues, providing clear, evidence based guidance, preparing for a fair distribution of a vaccine and other treatments, protecting those higher at risk, rebuilding defenses dismantled by Trump and implementing mask mandates nationwide.

Police reform

Biden does not support defunding the police, but does want to push the Justice Department to investigate police and prosecutor misconduct across the country. Biden is also for community policing and supports a national standard for use of force.

Climate crisis

Biden has made it clear in past debates that he will join the Paris Climate Accord upon entering office, but has also made it clear that he is not for a ban on fracking. Biden’s website also lays out a plan to make sure America achieves a 100% clean energy economy while reaching net zero emissions by 2050.


Biden has come out negative on federal funding for for-profit charter schools, making community college debt-free. He also proposed the idea of tuition-free public college for families making under $125,000 a year; along with plans to forgive debt for two and four-year public college students.


As president, Biden plans to protect the Affordable Care Act and build on it by giving people more choice, reducing healthcare costs and making the U.S. healthcare system easier to navigate. Biden, however, is against the idea of universal healthcare.

For more information about Joe Biden, visit

Kamala Harris - Democratic vice president nominee

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Harris is the 56-year-old Democrat currently running with Joseph Biden as his vice president. She attended undergraduate school at Howard University, and eventually went on to the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Harris spent 26 years as a California prosecutor, dealing with child sexual assault cases, homicide and robbery throughout her time in the courts. She went on to become the first female district attorney in San Francisco, and in 2010 was elected attorney general of California. In 2016, she was elected to the Senate, representing the state of California.


During the Vice Presidential Debate on Oct. 7, Harris stated that Biden’s plan for COVID-19 is to increase precautions through a national strategy for contact tracing, and administration of a free vaccination for the virus. The Biden campaign site states that they also have plans to increase access to tests and supplies, as well as provide states with national guidance.

Police Reform

Harris made statements that support police reformation, but has never suggested that she aims to dismantle or defund the United States’ law enforcement system.  She said that the country needs to take to “reimagining how we do public safety in America.” The Biden-Harris ticket instead believes that new policies and regulations need to be put in place. The campaign also wants to invest $300 million to “reinvigorate community-based policing.”

Climate Crisis

Harris said at the Vice Presidential debate that climate change is “an existential threat to us as human beings.” She also served on a senate committee dedicated to dealing with climate issues, and while serving as San Francisco’s DA, created an environmental justice unit. The Biden campaign aims to bring the U.S. to 100% clean energy, make a stand against big company polluters and invest $1.7 trillion into plans that will benefit the climate and aid the crisis.


Harris is a huge advocate for the educational system, believing that it deserves more funding. She has supported teachers’ strikes in the past and believes that they deserve a raise. Harris supports making the educational system more inclusive for students of different races, genders and sexualities. She has opposed tuition-based tax benefits for for-profit charter schools, and believes education should be accessible. The Biden campaign also has plans to support colleges and make a college education more accessible to middle and lower class families.


When Harris was running for president herself, she had a plan to provide healthcare for all, but one that would also offer citizens the opportunity to have private insurance. Her and Biden’s plans combined to form the platform for public health that the campaign is currently running on — expanding the Affordable Care Act by providing “more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate.”

For more information about Kamala Harris, visit